Friday, 14 February 2014


Difficult to feel romantic when it is peeing down with rain and blowing a gale outside ... but I did Google 'St Valentines Day' to see what t'internet had to say about this traditionally romantic day of the year.   Actually, much of it was pretty bloody and gory .. imprisonment of St Valentine, The St Valentines Day massacre etc.

I liked the simplicity of this posting by a local primary school:

Traditionally, spring begins on St Valentine's Day (February 14th), the day on which birds chose their mates. In parts of Sussex Valentines Day was called 'the Birds' Wedding Day'. 

There are many traditions and tales associated with romance activities on Valentine's day including:

  • the first man an unmarried woman saw on 14th February would be her future husband; 
  • if the names of all a girl's suitors were written on paper and wrapped in clay and the clay put into water, the piece that rose to the surface first would contain the name of her husband-to-be.
  • if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a rich person. 

I've been watching our garden birds battling the elements today to get to the feeders .... I think my first bird sighting was a Blue Tit - so wonder where that fits into the above plan ...

Anyway, I stayed at home today in anticipation of having the bathroom work finished but it wasn't to be .. not the plumber's fault, the replacement unit didn't arrive on schedule so work is postponed until Monday.

So this morning was unsettled as I awaiting phone calls from plumbers, builders etc and I just couldn't concentrate on artwork.     This afternoon I spent a few more hours on the Indian Character study and this is where I left it ...

I have decided to leave the turban fairly 'understated' and pale in colour but I can see lots of areas that need tweaking.  

I have several sheets of this (anonymous) paper left and think I'll save the rest especially for this planned 'Indian Character Study series' - using coloured pencils for them all.   I'd like to get a a mini-series completed, then I'll look at them all with fresh eyes and make any alterations 'en masse'.  

I'd also like to get a picture or two ready for a wildlife exhibition in the Summer but am short on time as deadlines are looming (and we will be flying off to the Canaries soon).   I'm planning to re-work some existing pastel wildlife works and possibly re-mount/frame them as I don't really have enough time to do anything from scratch.

You have my permission to 'kick butt' as I need to be kept on track ... thanks!!



  1. Consider butt kicked. Can't believe you are off again shortly. It's all holiday with you guys.

    The Indian is looking absolutely great, I will look forward to seeing more of them.

    Bird's Wedding Day, I love that.

  2. Thanks Jo
    No. 1 Butt Kicker!!!

    Don't blame me, David has got itchy feet and can't stay put in one place for more than a couple of weeks it seems!

    He'd planed another trip to France on Monday (not that we need supplies this time) but that's now on hold as the bathroom has to take priority.

  3. OMGoodness, Sue! I'm speechless again.. his turban is fantastic and his face perfect.. you can almost feel his prickly beard! Don't tweak too much..Wonderful piece! I wish my husband would get itchy feet! Have fun...stay safe.

  4. I'd kick you but I would probably fall over, so I will just tap you instead :p

    Really like the eyes in this portrait, full of life :)

  5. Thanks Hilda. I need to finish his ears at least but then will move on to something else to stop me 'playing' with this any more.

    'Itchy Feet' in husbands is OK, so long as you agree with where they want to go LOL

  6. Haha Jennifer ... yep, don't risk any more damage just yet. Hope the jaw is healing and working better now?

    Thanks re. the eyes. Normally I start all portraits at the eyes but this time I started with the turban for some reason - if the eyes don't go right there's no point carrying on (IMHO)

  7. Here comes a very forceful kick to the backside! This guy looks good and will look fabulous after the ears are finished.

    I keep looking at his eyes, the way you've painted them is great and this is not a crit but curiosity. In all the pics you posted, the people had very dark eyes - are lighter eyes like this very common?

  8. thanks Jan.

    This guy was lighter skinned/eyed than many. In NW India you do see quite a lot of green/hazel eyed people. Possibly something to do with its Central Asian ancestory (and proximity to Afghanistan where there are lots of green eyed people).

  9. How stunning!! Your portraits are just exquisite, Sue. I so wish I had your talent!!

  10. yeah, if the eyes don't look right, the rest will not look right

    the jaw is healing, still can't chew anything tho


Thanks for visiting my Blog. Let me know what you think :-)

I have disabled the Captcha requirement at the request of followers who find it irritating when posting comments. However to stop the subsequent flood of spam posts I can no longer accept comments from Anonymous sources.
Apologies if this is a problem
Thank you